A Philadelphia Workers’ Comp Lawyer Reveals What to Know
When you do a task over and over again, like loading cargo or threading needles, the added stress on your body can cause permanent and serious work injuries that require you to file a workers' compensation claim.
Repetitive tasks that require the body to be in prolonged or frequent unnatural positions often lead to all kinds of damage, including musculoskeletal injuries. Otherwise known as MSDs or ergonomic injuries, musculoskeletal damage concerns soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Many hard-working people in Philadelphia have experience with MSDs due to unfair working conditions. This is especially true for people working in manufacturing and warehouses.
Over the summer, for example, an investigation revealed that the Philadelphia warehouse workers of a certain international retail distributor were almost twice as likely to be injured on the job compared to their colleagues.
Preventing MSDs often requires employee education, proper personal protective equipment (and the knowledge to use it correctly) as well as tweaks to workflow and stations.
Some work tasks are more likely to cause injury than others. For MSDs the tasks may seem simple, routine, and "not a big deal," but, over time, they can be life-changing. Here are some of the work positions and motions to help prevent MSDs:
- Arms above head - May lead to muscle spasms, shoulder strain, inflammation.
- Twisting back - Your back is designed for a maximum 35-degree rotation. Anything more than that strains the system, which may lead to disc herniations, bone spurs, back and spine damage, lower back pain, immobility, or chronic back pain.
- Forward bending - Back pain, especially in the lumbar region.
- Non-neutral wrists - A wrist is meant to be in a straight-on position, not bent when performing tasks. Working with bent wrists can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, decreased grip strength, and nerve damage
- Kneeling and squatting - This task puts pressure on your knees, even more so if you are handling materials. Frequently kneeling or squatting at work may lead to massive pain and swelling on the knee, bursitis, and can worsen the development of osteoarthritis
Filing for Workers' Compensation Benefits
Companies are required to provide safe work environments free of hazards. When hazards are part of the job, employers have an obligation to provide employees with the personal protection equipment (PPE) they need to prevent injury.
When someone is injured on the job in Pennsylvania, regardless of fault, they are eligible to apply for workers' compensation benefits. To get approved at all, and for the amount you need, you have to prove your injuries and financial losses. Many people choose to hire workers' compensation attorneys to help them navigate the system so they don't lose out on the benefits they deserve.
In some situations, there are also third parties who are liable for your injuries. When employees of subcontractors or servicing agencies, for example, cause injuries or fatalities where you work, you may be able to file a third-party claim in addition to your workers' comp claim.
Help For Injured Workers in Philadelphia
If you were injured on the job in the greater Philadelphia area, contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC for a free case consultation. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you obtain the workers' comp benefits you're entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney.